André de Freitas: What If ★★★★★

André de Freitas, a Portuguese stand-up comic, delivers a mix of culture-clash observations and autobiography to winning effect.

From beginnings in his home country, through a side-hustle as a male escort, to finally making it to this very stage, Portuguese comic, André de Freitas, makes a very assured debut Fringe appearance. 

This self-styled Portuguese Papi, part-American, part-lesbian (his words), goes through each part of his journey to being a full-time comic. There are a lot of bumps along the way. His father is supportive but his stints in New York and London find him living in rental cars and under stairways. 

Obviously, going through his story in chronological fashion does afford What if? a structure not enjoyed by many other stand-up shows. But this is no rote recounting of his tale. Observations from his immigrant perspective are skillfully done and unexpected cultural references are dropped in with aplomb. (A reference to Harry Potter raises a particular belly laugh.)

De Freitas is an extremely warm on stage presence. Audience interaction is good-natured, usually in keeping with the culture-clash theme of the show, and just on the right side of spiky. His natural appeal means there is a slight air of your very charismatic pal telling stories, albeit very funny ones. It will be interesting to see how he fares on a larger stage with an audience not quite so close-up. 

On this evidence, he shouldn’t have any issues. A winning presence from first word to last, André de Feitas deserves to be a sleeper hit of the Fringe. 

What if… we gave André  ★ 5 stars

André de Freitas Tickets

André de Freitas: What If runs at The Pleasance Courtyard - Bunker Two

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